trust your gut

‘Trust Your Gut’ is our annual awareness campaign that raises awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, what they are and when to act. We are encouraging you to trust your ‘gut feeling’ when something doesn’t feel right by acting on your symptoms and talking to your GP. 

Many of us will experience uncomfortable gut symptoms at one time or another, such as bloating, cramping, gas or unexplained tiredness or weight loss but most of us won’t do anything about it. 

You might explain it away as being diet related or stress. Some will even Google ‘irritable bowel syndrome’ or put it down to ‘not being as young or as fit as we used to be’.

Even fewer of us will ask our doctor about our symptoms.

However, it’s that ‘gut feeling’ telling you somethings just not right which is worth trusting. 

Statistically it’s unlikely you will have bowel cancer, especially if you are under 50 years of age. However, the critical thing with bowel cancer is to catch it early.  

Acting quickly when you first notice symptoms is the key because detected early, 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.

In fact, bowel cancer can be present for many years before showing any symptoms.  

In some cases, people may not experience any bowel cancer symptoms until the cancer has become more advanced or spreads to other parts of the body. It’s important to know what’s normal for your body and when to talk to your GP.  

Unusual gut symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements, even if only occasional, should never be ignored
  • A change in bowel habits for longer than two weeks

– going to the toilet more frequently
– constipation
– loose or watery bowel movements
– feeling that the bowel does not completely empty
– bowel movements that are thinner than usual

  • Frequent gas, bloating, fullness or cramps
  • Unexplained feelings of tiredness, breathlessness or a lack of energy
  • Unexplained weight loss or vomiting
  • Chronic or new abdominal pain that exists for more than a few days
  • A lump in your abdomen or rectum.

Know the Bowel Cancer Symptoms/

Bowel cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in Australia, and the leading cancer killer in 25-34 year olds – but it doesn’t have to be.

There are 15,500 Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer every year, and many are not aware of the symptoms.

Acting quickly when you first notice symptoms is the key, because if detected early up to 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.

Use our Symptom Checker tool HERE

Impact stories/

More on Preventing Bowel Cancer/